Alaska Pipeline Shutting Down Will Cause Local Gas Prices to Increases - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Alaska Pipeline Shutting Down Will Cause Local Gas Prices to Increases

KENNEWICK, Wash. - B-P Oil began shutting down the Prudhoe Bay Transit Pipelines Sunday and plans to replace at least 73 percent of the pipelines.

Officials are unsure on the cost to replace the lines and even how long the pipelines will have to stay shut down. The company will reopen parts of the oil field when it believes it is safe to do so.

Prudhoe Bay Oil Field produces nearly eight percent of the country's daily Crude oil production.  And with the pipeline shut down, West Coast oil supply is cut by about 15 percent.

This will affect gas prices in the Tri Cities and Yakima area.  Christensen, Division manager of R.E. Powell Distributing Co. in Grandview, WA. said wholesale prices have already gone up.

"As far as prices, what we are charging and what other distributors will be charging, they will increase over the next few days.  How significant will that be?  Probably in the five to 10 cent range in the next couple of days.  Only time is going to tell how much those will go up," Christensen said.

He said the increases will be even greater because prices always go up in August, because of the increase in demand during the travel season.

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